Camille Saviola, ‘Star Trek’ and Broadway actress, dies at 71

October 30, 2021
Camille Saviola, known for her roles on Broadway and  "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" has died. She was 71.

Camille Saviola, known for her role as Kai Opaka in the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” TV series has died. She was 71. 

“ is saddened to learn of the passing of Camille Saviola. Camille made her mark on the Star Trek Universe as the incredible Kai Opaka. She will be greatly missed,” the sci-fi series’ Twitter page wrote Friday. 

Before Saviola appeared on “Star Trek” she appeared in many Broadway productions including her role as Mama Maddelena in the 1982 play “Nine” and also appeared in  “Chicago” as a replacement for the role of Mama Morton. 

Saviola made many TV appearances during her career including roles in popular series including “Friends,” “The Heights,” “ER” and HBO’s “Entourage” when she played the role of Turtle’s mother. She also appeared in many movies such as “Shadow and Fog” along with Woody Allen, “Addams Family Values” and “The Purple Rose of Cairo.” 

She appeared on the late 90s “Star Trek” spin-off for several episodes over the course of three years as Kai Opaka, the divine leader of the fictional Bajor species. 

Fellow “Star Trek” actor Wilson Cruz wrote thoughtful words of Saviola’s memory on Twitter. 

“What a presence this woman was! My heart is heavy. My love to Camille’s family and family of friends throughout the industry. She will be missed,” he wrote. 

Tony-winning actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein remembered Saviola as “The Italian Godmother of Soul.” 

“Camille Saviola…. How could you leave us like this? She was a friend for 40 years who could always be counted on for a laugh …,” he wrote. 

Emmy-winning “Scandal” actor Dan Bucatinsky wrote: “RIP #camilleSaviola. Wildly talented. We are all better for having had you with us.” 

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